Fender 30

Fender 30
Schematic(s) fender_30.pdf
Configuration: , ,
Production: ,

Model/Circuit Number: 30
Years of Production:
1980 – 1981
Era: Rivera
Configuration: Combo (1×12 & 2×10)
Controls: Black face plate with white letters
Knobs: Black skirted w/ chrome center, numbered 1 – 10

  • Front: NORMAL CHANNEL – Input 1, Input 2, Bright Switch, Volume, Treble, Bass. REVERB CHANNEL – Input 1, Input 2, Channel select switch, Preamp Gain with pull-knob boost, Treble with pull-knob boost, Bass with pull-knob boost, Reverb and Volume
  • Rear: Fuse (2A), Speaker out, Speaker out, Line Out Level, Lineout, RCA Pedal input for Channel switching, 1/4” Pedal input for Reverb control, Reverb Output, Reverb Input (RCA), Hum Balance control


  • Dimensions: 1×12: 24 1/2” x 18” x 8 3/4”, 2×10: 17½”x 23¾” x 9”
  • Hardware: Medium Chassis Straps 4 5/8”
  • Handle: Black Strap
  • Feet: Glides
  • Corners: Black Metal 2 hole with lip

Covering Material

  • Tolex/Tweed: Black Tolex
  • Grill Cloth: Black White Silver; Black with Metalic Silver Trim; Black Grill with White Trim

Logo: Grill Mounted, Chrome and Black Script Fender without tail
Weight: 40 lbs

  • Size: 1 x 12” or 2 x 10”
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Model: 12” Fender Special Design 005379, or (2) 10″ – 8 Ohm CTS Speakers (137-8031) or 10” Fender Special Design(For more info, check out the Jensen Replacement Speakers)

Effects: Reverb
~Watts: 30 watts

  • Pre amp: 12AT7, 7025
  • Power: 2 x 6L6GC

Bias: Fixed
Rectifier: 5U4

Comments: – 6 Spring Reverb Tank – Dual Pedal Switch – Line/Recording jack – Hum Balance Control

35 Responses to “Fender 30”

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  1. Comment by Victordemise — July 17, 2011 at 8:36 pm   Reply

    I have one of these puppies (Silver Faced)- Needs work, but it is a sweet amp when it’s runnin right

  2. Comment by Guest — July 24, 2011 at 8:27 pm   Reply

    Fantastic Fender amp. tipical blackface Fender cleansl Sweet reverb, creamy overdrive sound . Recommended

  3. Comment by Nottfadeaway — October 22, 2011 at 5:58 am   Reply

    Pure Fender sound. Highly recommended. An overlooked Fender classic amp

  4. Comment by William HillNovember 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm   Reply

    The sounds from this combo are timeless,for anyone with pure appreciation of
    what tone is all about,this may be the the singularly most underestimated of
    all fender amp production ,look at the features :-all valve point to point wired,
    two speakers,reverb,channel select,voltage selector 30 watts ,so loud enough
    to gig with ,yet subtle enough for home practise,very tweakable features,, a
    priceless gem ,of subtle yet undeniable quality,,and becoming hard to find.

  5. Comment by Russwilbanks — January 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm   Reply

    I own and love this amp. Bought it used with a 12″ JBL E-120… replaced that with a jensen n series…. So much beautiful tone at club volume. My other main amp is a re-issue bassman, with replacement speaks (again Jensens)
    Some forums are saying this is  Fender 30 is NOT a Rivera design… any info on that?

  6. Comment by Guitarslinger56 — April 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm   Reply

    Mr. Rivera himself in a video interview has said that he was NOT instrumental in the design of this series. This series had a production run of almost 2 years. Mr. Rivera was hired by Fender after that. So,no they are not technically an amp made during his brief time at Fender.

  7. Comment by Blueguitar007r — June 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm   Reply

    Not Rivera era (wow a couple years is an era? And Rivera amps are shit) amp. Please put in correct category.

  8. Comment by Tim Aves — June 21, 2012 at 4:56 am   Reply

    I bought this about three months ago, having only ever seen one other like it anywhere in the world in the past 15 years, thinking it would be like a scaled-down version of the the Fender 75, one of which I also own and love. It’s not – it’s a TOTALLY different beastie!
    My amp tech pal John, who gave it the once-over reckons it’s based on the classic Deluxe Reverb, with channel switching and a few push-pull bells and whistles to make it look more modern and a beefier 6L6 output. Funny, if that’s the case, it’s a shame it doesn’t sound a bit more like a Deluxe. I’ve grown to rather love this amp, but to my ears, it doesn’t quite have the same classic Fender amp “shimmer” as the 75.  It’s a bit more middly, with a bit of a click on the front of the sound, reminiscent of some Marshalls – and odd comparison, I know, but that’s what I hear.
    Whatever, it’s a great little amp.

    • Comment by Jamie — July 27, 2012 at 1:23 am   Reply

      Tim – you lucky man – a 75 and a 30 ! Just picked up a 75 head and after new tubes its just great, I’m amazed actually.

      Quick question about tone boost knobs – do they boost at the current knob position only ? By which I mean the knob seems not to function when turned in the “out” or pulled boost position ?

  9. Comment by Crimhead — July 12, 2012 at 2:17 am   Reply

    I bought mine new back in 1980. I fell in love with it´s tone. from clear warm sounds (channel1) to blues stuff and even real overdrive rock sounds (channel2) it has it all. No need for another amp. Loud enough for club gigs (And I mean really loud) The 2 10″ speakers do a great job. If you find one along the road, test it. You won´t be disappointed by this raw gem.

  10. Comment by Mad dog — October 24, 2012 at 11:08 am   Reply

    I just acquired one of these on a swap deal and the tones it puts out are crazy. Bold and loud this amp is super versatile with real fender shimmer. I’d never even heard of them before now. Lucky find its in excellent condition just swapped out the Utah for a reissue p12n and now this amp really does sing.
    To think these go for the same dough as hot rod deluxes is a joke the comparison is a non starter.

    • Comment by William HillOctober 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm   Reply

      fender would do well to hear you,, and re-issue the 30,,and also do a 20 ,,and a 10 watt,,all with 2×10″ speakers,, and even put in power scaling too ,,its the way all amps should go,, :)(and even do a 2×10 5watter) ,,w/reverb,,all valve,,

  11. Comment by Mad dog — October 25, 2012 at 3:46 am   Reply

    Yeah for sure Will would be good if they brought them back so replacement parts could be s
    ourced but then these amps would no longer be exclusive and minorities (fortunate as we are!) like us would not be here marvelling at them!

  12. Comment by William Hill. — October 25, 2012 at 5:31 am   Reply

    Paul riviera was brought in by fender/cbs ,in `1981,,ed jahns was the man responsible for the design of the fender 75″ and it ties in historically that the “30” was probably his design too,

  13. Comment by Mad dog — October 27, 2012 at 2:23 am   Reply

    Anyone here know who sells a compatible foot switch for the 30? Aftermarket or fender not bothered. Thanks guys

    • Comment by William HillOctober 28, 2012 at 2:56 am   Reply

      Try on ebay M,D,,have seen plenty of useable switches on there, mine needs one as well ,,:)

      • Comment by Mad dog — October 28, 2012 at 10:40 am   Reply

        Thanks Will I’ve been having a look on ebay mate but it seems the foot switch for this pedal, like the amp is quite rare. Looks like it has a 1/4″and an RCA plug. Most of the switches I’ve seen have either two 1/4 or two RCA plugs. Wonder could one of those type pedals be modded to suit our amp?

        • Comment by William Hill. — October 28, 2012 at 7:19 pm   Reply

          Yes M,D thats just what i`m thinking,, have a double f/sw modded,, or failing that get seperate ones with an rca set up on one and the normal 1/4 on the other,, but i`d prefer the double modded one , i will get one and keep you posted if it works out,,:)

          • Comment by Mad dog — October 28, 2012 at 11:53 pm  

            Thanks Will let me know how you get on. I saw 1 on usa ebay but it was crazy expensive around $150 usd. Dont use 2nd channel that much but would be handy at times.

    • Comment by marco benvegnu — November 19, 2012 at 9:30 am   Reply

      dear mad dog, i’m servicing a fender 30 and i need a somo colse photos of the inside. can you hel me??
      thanks in advance

      • Comment by Mad dog — December 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm   Reply

        Hi Marco, I don’t have any internal photos I could give you mate. Never need to open it up.
        Their is a schematic on the top of this page tho that should help you out.

      • Comment by spdwaver1 — July 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm   Reply

        Did you ever get the photos you were after? I had taken several and sent them to my amp tech prior to having the Orange Drop-type caps replaced with Sozo blue molded caps.

  14. Comment by taffy — November 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm   Reply

    with roughly the same tube compliment as the 75, was this run PSE?

  15. Comment by marco benvegnu — February 4, 2013 at 6:07 am   Reply

    dear sirs,
    i’m servicing a fender 30 and i need some colse photos of the inside. can anyone of you help me??
    thanks in advance

  16. Comment by alamoampman — May 13, 2013 at 10:18 pm   Reply

    This Fender Amp is one of those well kept secrets that’s now just starting to come out of the dark. Grab one now while you still can…prices are climbing slowly on these…(and it’s bigger cousin the Fender 70)……. If you have the 2 / 10 version of the Fender 30, here is what I found out by trial and error… …..This amp works fantastic with a Tone Tubby Ceramic 50 watt and Eminence Legend 75 watt speakers. This combo allows you to keep the bass off or use very little of it giving you crispy clear lively rich tones. The first channel will sound like a Twin Reverb but not at 100 watts…great for country type blues licks, now roll the treble off a little work the mid and bass ( start without bass…roll it up very slightly if you need a little) and take out the bright switch and put your Jazz guitar in it now…wow! warn clear and well balanced running jazz scales and chords….

    Channel 2 can hit SRV territories ( without a TS 808) with this combination of speakers. Keep the bass off and pull out the treble knob kept at 6 to 10 and slowly work it out, keep the mid on 8, 10 … work your master and volume knobs to your volume. Now add a touch of reverb…You can get this tone loud, or low….you will learn the responses because your ear will tell you…man it’s sound good….I tried quite a dozen speakers combinations on it…all speaker were not cheap ones either…lol… Also, practically ANY distortion or overdrive pedals will sound great in this amp with this combo of speakers…You will be impressed.. because this combo of speakers makes this amp sing and sound bigger and fuller with out blowing the club down…I was told by a person that walked into the club…he thought I was playing out of a Super Reverb…. .Another gig a person thought it was the sound of twin reverb… Hope this helps in your pursuit of tone…thanks for reading. :)

  17. Comment by spdwaver1 — July 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm   Reply

    I recently traded a pristine Blues Deville 4×10 for an equally pristine closet-kept Fender 30 1×12. All original, down to the filter caps; tolex had not even one tear in it. The fact that it sounded almost horrible with the stock speaker in it (Oxford?), it did not deter me from trading for it, knowing that it was a completely handwired circuit which could be bettered by a the removal of cheap caps and addition of new filter caps and blue molded caps.

    I had the stock speaker removed in favor of a Weber Blue Dog AlNiCo, which actually sounds decent. It wasn’t my first choice, but it works for now. Ultimately, I know that it needs a Jensen, which I would gladly ditch the Weber for in a heartbeat, given the opportunity.

    I have read that this amp’s circuit was based on a Vibrasonic or Vibro-something, which may be true, but I will say this: I own an original ’64 Super Reverb (original, reconed speakers as well); this Fender 30 has THE blackface sound I have always loved. When the blue molded capacitors are broken-in, it will sound even looser with that nice (although slightly more mids) round bass note attack (SRV’s low ‘E’ final note) and chimey, clear cutting highs. It can get creamy as well, with the volume rolled back on a Strat equipped with treble bleed circuit.

    This amp takes certain pedals well. A Boss SD-1 with some mods, a DS-1 with diodes removed, TS-808 variants and — who knows what else. With the combination of a couple modified OD pedals, this amp produces nice sustaining lead tones – even from single coils. With the right speaker, perhaps an 80-watt, this amp can produce a lot of clean headroom. Having tested a Celestion “Seventy/Eighty” cabinet, I can attest to the fact that an efficient speaker would do this amp justice on the stage.

    Overall, this amp is destined to become a favorite of mine (with a Jensen in it) as well as a keeper.

    As mentioned several times, this amp is NOT a Rivera-era amp, nor does it have – for the sake of clarifying misinformation on the Internet – a linear transformer, like it’s bigger brethren.

    • Comment by Mad dog — July 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm   Reply

      You totally mugged the guy who got the deville hahaha what a score mate!

      • Comment by spdwaver1 — October 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm   Reply

        Thanks, and I agree – I went ahead and tried a couple Jensen speakers in it: both a P12N and a C12K; the C12K sounded best, but the Weber sounds the best out of them all. I am now going to sell or trade it, since I have a different custom-made Fender amp (Princeton-style) that is perfect in every way. This amp is perfectly set up and ready for another 30 years of service!

  18. Comment by Dave Pacho — April 12, 2014 at 3:28 am   Reply

    Hey all,
    I’ve had my 30 since 2000 and cannot agree with you more. It truly is a gem, by far the best amp I’ve ever owned. Producing amazing sound from clean tones for doing all the Motown classics to the crunchy sound I want went playing 70’s style rock.

  19. Comment by Ray B — May 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm   Reply

    Hi guys, I’m 67 yrs old and been playing guitar and bass since 1959. I’ve used a lot of amps in my day including but limited to:Watkins, Bird, Vox, Peavey, Gretsch, Musicman, Roland, Fender, Line6 but I always gravitate back to a Fender.
    I picked up my 1×12 Fender 30 amp from a long since defunct local music store in about 1984 and paid A$400 for it. Since then it’s done quite a bit of work and had couple of valve changes in its life. It has now developed a bad crackle when it gets hot so I guess it’s time for new caps.

    The Fender 30 is a very sweet toned amp and suits a broad spectrum of playing styles from country, rock, blues/ jazz etc. Very crisp and clean to dirty it does it all. My main guitar is a 62 Strat but I also use a Tele, a Gibson 355 BB King, Gretsch Country Gent and a Ricky 360 x 12 string. They all sound great through this lovely little amp.

    The 30 is certainly powerful enough for any gig I’m going to do now. In my earlier day it was miked up through the PA and all I heard was mangled fold back. Those days are long gone and with the pub/ club venues today being similar to those of the 60’s it’s an ideal amp. In any case my strength to carry heavy gear is waning and here’s no possibility of me lifting my Vox AC30 now, those Bulldoog speakers weigh a tonne. Funny that because when I was a skinny 75Kilo 19 year old I carried the AC30 with no problem at all. Now I’m 95Kgs and I can’t lift a thing.

    I would advise that if you can’t find a Fender 30 and I must say I’ve only ever seen one other, then go buy a Fender Deluxe. You might not get the versatility of tone that the 30 gives you but you will love it and when you’re old like me, you can still sit back and enjoy playing through it. Oh yes, and you will still be able to lift it too.
    ‘Keep on pick’n’

    • Comment by Kenny LeeJune 28, 2015 at 6:07 am   Reply

      Hey, Ray! Man, can I identify with you! Not many of us left!

      I started in 1961 (also 67), so you are one of the very few who have actually been in it longer than I have. My ears went south years ago (plugs, children…PLUGS!–At least on the drummer’s side!), and I recently had back surgery from the days I put my Twin up over my head and carried it through a crowd of people and out to the car. Thirty-five years of hoisting this stuff will get you, children, so watch your backs, too. As Ray says, about all I can lift nowadays, is my fork!

      I currently have a blackfaced silverface Twin, a blackface Showman, two blackface Super Reverbs, AND a Blues Deluxe … which are ALL too loud for my home! Trouble is, I am hooked on the 6L6 fat bottom end sound. I keep trying amps with 6V6’s, Class A EL84’s (Mesa, Traynor) … but nothing gives me the fullness of a 40 watt amp running on at least FOUR, a little towards the middle of the power amp stage. My ears can’t take that SPL anymore. And I can’t afford a Matchless or a Kingsley which are pretty full sounding even at a lower volume (my wife would freak if I sold any of my amps). A real quandary.

      Perhaps I’ll look around for a Fender 30 … I mean, it’s a savings of ten watts, right?

  20. Comment by AndrewAugust 20, 2014 at 5:19 pm   Reply

    Scouring the internet looking for proper tube replacement for this particular amp. Bought it three months ago maybe more. I love this thing to death. I spend 400$ on it at guitar center. Looks old but sounds like a howling blues demon. I love it with all my heart and soul. But…. My girlfriend broke the power tubes. So…. I went from replacing with the same 6L6Ge tubes for the two power tubes but…. For the rectifier (I think that’s what it is) guitar center guys suggested a 5ar4 in place of a 5u4 that was there previously… My amp cut out volume about two weeks later. Half volume…. Like 1-10 volume is the same. when this thing is on 2-3 it’s CRANKING any advice?!???

  21. Comment by AndrewAugust 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm   Reply

    I’d love if you guys could reply to me. Or email me or even a text maybe? I’m just young lad who likes Robert Johnson and black sabbath and zeppelin and soundgarden and I want to plays amp :(

  22. Comment by Flem — June 3, 2015 at 8:33 am   Reply

    Another mega +1 for all the above who state that this is a hugely underrated Fender amp. Think of it like a hand-wired Hot Rod Deluxe, but better. The Normal channel is voiced like my silverface Princeton Reverb. Then you can dial in just about any classic overdriven Fender tone and beyond with the Reverb channel. Works well with all guitars and contrary to other Fenders I’ve owned (including standard-bearers like a 60s Deluxe Reverb, 70s Deluxe Reverb, 70s Vibrolux Reverb, etc.) this puppy sounds good at reasonable volumes. My only knock against this amp is that the reverb seems voiced differently from the classic Fender reverb we’ve all grown up with. A bit more restrained than the classic lush Fender reverb sound, but by no means unpleasant.

    20 years from now everyone will recognize this as the overlooked gem that it is. Buy one now if you can find one.

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